6 Internet Marketing Conferences To Attend This Year

When you work in Internet marketing, it’s easy to become insulated from the outside world. While this has its benefits – you can get more work done without distractions and it’s easy to keep up with trends and developments online – it also cuts you off from actual contact with other human beings.

Networking is an important part of Internet marketing as it is any other industry. And while new video conferencing tools make it possible to interact with other people one-on-one or even as part of a group, it doesn’t replace the genuine value of meeting and speaking with your peers face-to-face.

Getting Out into the World

It’s also important that you not fall into a rut, which is something that can easily occur when you work online, especially if you work from home.

That’s why it’s often valuable to occasionally get out of your work zone and into the real world once in a while.

Internet marketing conferences offer the perfect opportunity to hone your people skills, network with other IM professionals, and gain exposure to cutting edge concepts and emerging ideas and technologies related to your craft. You might even meet future JV partners or affiliates!

Top 6 IM Conferences For The Rest Of This Year

Regardless of where you live – East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between – there likely is an Internet marketing conference being held relatively close to you at some point this year. To help connect you to the one that’s best for you, here’s a list of the top 6 must-attend IM conferences for the rest of 2015:

Copyblogger, The Authority Rainmaker – Despite its unconventional name, this conference, to be held May 13 to 15 in Denver, attracts some of the biggest names on the Internet today, including Daniel Pink, Danny Sullivan, Chris Brogan, Ann Handley and, of course, Copybloggers’ own Brian Clark.

Confab – If you are anywhere near the Minneapolis from May 20 to 22, you need to run, not walk to Confab. It’s the go-to conference for curating, managing and strategizing content campaigns and attracts the biggest names in social strategy, content creation, and marketing.

SMX Advanced – Have you heard of the popular online publishers Search Engine Land and Marketing Land? If so, you probably already know how influential they are becoming in global marketing. Both are owned by Third Door Media, the organizer of this conference scheduled for June 2 to 3 in Seattle. It’s fast-paced yet user-friendly event that offers something for everybody involved in SEO, online marketing, and global branding.

Mozcon – Also in Seattle is Mozcon, a three-day conference filled with informative sessions on everything from community building, SEO, social media, content marketing, brand development, big data analytics, and mobile optimization, among others. It’s scheduled for July 13 to 15.

Content Marketing World – There aren’t many things that will get me to Cleveland, but Content Marketing World, scheduled for September 8 to 11 – is one of them. It’s the largest content marketing event in the US and features more than 80 sessions presented by some of the biggest names in brand marketing from around the world.

Pubcon Las Vegas – It’s no gamble that you will take away something valuable from Pubcon Las Vegas, scheduled to be held in Sin City from October 5 to 9. This conference always focuses on the future of technology and attracts some of the IM industry’s most forward-thinking minds.

Make a commitment that this is the year you are finally going to get out of your office and interact with real people in the real world. Any (or all) of these conferences offer you the opportunity you need to expand your horizons, meet new people, and network for success.

Is Online Marketing Your 7pm to 2am Job? How To Make A Full Transition

Often, people begin their online marketing efforts as a part time gig, with the transition of moving as soon as possible to fulltime self-employment.

Unfortunately, as time goes on, far too many people find themselves exactly where they started out: Coming home from a necessary day job they don’t particularly enjoy, and working on their online marketing for a few hours for a little “extra income.”

While this is a happy medium for some people, many others will become frustrated. Here are a few ways you can change your approach to your online marketing entrepreneurship efforts in order to finally make the transition into working for yourself full time.

1) ‘A few hours’ won’t cut it: Let’s face it, if you went to work for ‘a few hours’ each day, your boss would have a talk with you before long. Think of how long it would take for a business to reach profitability if every employee cut down their 8 or 9 hours to 2 or 3 each day. Somehow, people expect this approach to work in building their own businesses from home.

At best, they underestimate the amount of time it will take to compound the effects of a few hours per day into a fulltime income. The people who will break away from this mode don’t shy away from the hustle, and know that they need to essentially be working fulltime hours on their marketing efforts to quickly get them to a livable scale.

2) Get serious about your customers. Many online marketers like to talk about their ‘clients’ or their ‘projects’ but remember that, at its core, the success of your business is a direct result of how well you interact with your customers. ‘The customer is always right’ should apply, because you’re a small business.

People find it too easy to get caught up in ‘working for themselves’ and don’t take the time to be respectful and appreciative of everyone who is kind enough to hand them over money for a service or product. Stay humble, even when you’re kicking butt.

3) Get outside of the norm. In your communication channels, consider working on some new angles that are less crowded and also less expensive to engage with (if you go the route of paid advertising). For example, properly working your content into reddit or Stumbleupon can offer a massive return on your time if done correctly. While most marketers are chasing burnt out and overvalued approaches, you’ll be sitting on the secret sauce.

4) Finally, get disciplined. Have a routine for everything. If you’ve got just your evenings to grow a business with, you need to be efficient. This means making a schedule for your tasks and sticking to it. It means working to ensure that tasks don’t drag into others (checking and responding to emails is a big one!).

And, above all else, it means testing and drilling down into the actions that are driving the most results, and focusing your time on those.

Remember, if you want to have a business, don’t work on a side project.

How To Land a Guest Blog Post and Increase Your Visibility

When people decide they want to start off blogging or creating any kind of content for their business, they’re likely to come across guest blogging as a strategy fairly quickly. Guest blogging involves getting a guest spot on someone else’s website and creating a blog post that not only relieves them from having to fill a content slot, but gives you some exposure to their audience. Plus, if you have built up a following, you’ll be able to direct some of that attention toward the other person’s blog. In short, they’re a win-win.

Unfortunately, the way that most people approach a guest posting opportunity usually boils down to barely more than cold emailing people and hoping someone A) sees their email, B) bothers to open it, and C) actually reads it and does something about the message inside.

Instead, here’s a quick and easy checklist you can use to increase your chances of being accepted as a guest blogger on another site and using that siphoned exposure to help your own blog in return.

1) Identify a blog with audience crossover to your own. You don’t need to find someone writing about the exact same topic as you, but you do want to be able to identify some crossover between your audiences.

For example, if someone runs a fitness blog that focuses on exercise and your blog focuses on diet, their readers might be interested in what you have to say.

2) Read a few posts. Get a feel for the blog by reading more than just one or two of their posts. Note the tone of voice and ‘angle’ they seem to have.

3) Comment. Leave some thoughtful comments on their post. If you’re the guy or gal leaving “wow. Nice post!” type comments, you will be ignored.

If, however, you leave something genuinely thoughtful and which shows you were interested in and are interacting with their content.

4) Follow them on twitter. Next, find a social platform they’re on, usually twitter, and follow them. Share out a couple of their posts on your own feed over the next few days. Tag them in one of your tweets to make sure they know you’re giving them credit and to alert them that you’re sharing their content.

5) Send them a DM asking for permission. Before you pitch via email, ask for permission to do so. Send them a message on twitter letting them know that you have an idea you’d like to run by them, and if they have an email you can shoot it over to.

6) Craft an effective email pitch. An effective email pitch for a guest blog post gets to the point quickly. More importantly, however, a guest blog pitch focuses on much value and utility you can bring the person you’re pitching. Focus on what you can do for them, not on why they should help you out or how badly you need it.

Following these six steps, and having the patience to execute them over a few days, will put you miles ahead of every other pitch your target blogger is probably getting, and that’s definitely something.

Using Customer Feedback Surveys, Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of the tips list for creating a great customer feedback survey. In the first half, we covered some of the basic principles of creating an effective customer feedback survey like having a clear purpose and working to avoid creating biased responses, but now we’re going to dig a little deeper.

Advanced Tip #1) Avoid agree or disagree type questions When surveys give a statement and then ask respondents whether they agree or disagree with it, they may intentionally be biasing their responses. According to Harvard University’s own guidelines for sharing surveys, these questions often result in a bias toward more people choosing ‘agree’ than actually would rate themselves as being aligned with the statement.

Advanced Tip #2) Keep your survey to 10 questions, max When people bother to give you the time it takes to fill out your customer survey, you should appreciate that decision, not disrespect it by keeping them on the hook for longer than necessary. Plus, keeping your survey short is actually to your benefit as well. Research has shown that the longer a survey gets, the less time people spend on each question, because they get frustrated with the survey dragging on and speed up their responses on the later questions. It’s best to keep things more manageable and get to the point quickly both for your sake and for that of your customers.

Advanced Tip #3) Use question logic In the survey industry, question logic refers to the ability of a survey software to change which questions a respondent gets asked depending on how they’ve answered something previously. For example, if a customer answers that they have never purchased a teddy bear from your store, it makes little sense to ask them followup questions about the quality of the bear they purchased. Question logic lets you have the people who tell you they’ve never purchased a teddy bear skip right over the questions that pertain to that product. This can help you keep your questions as relevant as possible, which will also increase the chances that your respondents stick around.

Advanced Tip #4) Limit your use of open-ended questions. When it comes right down to it, it’s great to offer your respondents open-ended text fields that let them give a detailed opinion on a topic. That said, relying on these types of questions too much over more quantitative, measurable rating scales, etc. can make it hard to get data that’s easy to pick apart.

Being able to tie comments and explicit suggestions to your business is great, but so is the ability to see where average highs and lows lie with your customer group as a whole. It’s a good idea to mix in quantitative and qualitative questions as your survey progresses, to get a nice balance of information coming in.

Finally, you should be striving to follow-up personally with every person who bothers responding to your survey. First, you should thank them, then you should dig into the specific answers you got and make sure you understand what actions you should take next to improve – this applies to those who had both positive and negative input for you!